By Not Known
It is a common human desire to ‘fit in‘ with those around us. Most of us dislike being different to others and prefer conformity.
Against that we must consider God's call to live as aliens and strangers in the world (1 Peter 2: 11). This is not a call to be different for the sake of being different. The context makes it clear that this is a call to live with goodness: …abstain from sinful desires which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that through they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds … (1 Peter 2: 11- 12)
Another way of looking at this is to say that we are to live as God's friends, rather than as aliens and strangers to him. Living as God's friend will sometimes mean living as an alien and stranger in a world that defies and denies God.
The life of being God's friends and aliens to the world is summarised thus by Peter: … live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.(1 Peter 3: 8- 9)
This is a good life and should mean that Christian people are welcome members of society. However, this is not always so. Those who live lives of ungodly disorder will sometimes mask their behaviour by attacking those who live in godly order. In short, Christian people may sometimes suffer because they live good lives.
What should we do when we suffer for living as liens to the world and friends with God? Common temptations are to strike back at those accusing us, or to join them. Peter gives us another clear word: But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear ; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,… (1 Peter 3: 14- 16)
May god give us wisdom to know when we must live differently to the world in order to be His friends. May He give us grace to always live with godliness and love, even towards those who may cause us unjust suffering. May he give us strength to resist the temptation to be the world’s friends at the cost of becoming strangers from God.